Saturday, 16 June 2012

Precision parking: the fine art of stealing a car spot.

Taking advantage of the (now gone) sun, I was on my balcony this morning hanging out some washing.  An unfamiliar car pulled up and the driver wound down his window and shouted up at me.

"Is this your car park?"

"No," I responded.

"Do you know whose it is?"

I pointed to the apartment next door.

"Thanks," he said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I live at number 4 and my girlfriend's car is parked there. So I have no where to park.  I just want to check if it's okay for me to leave my car here."

He reversed into the car space, wound the window up and locked the door as he walked towards my neighbours' place.

"It's good of you to ask," I said.  It really was.  Most people just park where they like without any consideration for the person they may be inconveniencing.

"Yeah, well, not really.  I'm just sick of uptight people nagging me for parking in their spot." He was standing on the balls of his feet, tightly wound.

"Well it's fair enough for people to ask you to move if you're in their spot," I suggested.

"They don't have to whine at me."

He stalked off.  I heard him knock on my neighbours' door.  They weren't home.  He returned to the car and took out a loop of electrical cord.  I went back inside.

Then I heard yelling.  I went onto my balcony and pretended to adjust the washing.  He was yelling at a cowering woman, demanding she move her car forward half a metre.  I assume she was his girlfriend.  She scurried back inside, re-emerged with car keys and moved her car forward.  The man directed her.  This was some precision parking.  First she went too far forward, then too far back, then too fast, too slow, the angle wasn't right.  She persisted in her efforts to please him with her car parking.  I would have abandoned the car to him.  Or driven off into the sunset.

Any wonder he was sensitive about the way people spoke to him about his mis-parked car.  Delivering, rather than receiving was obviously more his style.  I wonder what is going on in his life for him to carry so much frustration and anger with him.

I think I'll walk the other way next time I see him coming.

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